Ever heard of the wonut? As the name suggests, it's a cross between the doughnut and waffle, apparently started out of Waffles Café in Chicago. And now it's all over the Internet. So when a colleague told me about them, I was intrigued. But when he experimented with them at home and left some on my desk, I was hooked. Of course we had to try these out in the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.
We experimented using four classic doughnut recipes: buttermilk, devil's food, yeast-raised and French cruller. You can use any recipe you prefer
Cooking the wonuts was a bit of a challenge at first; you need to adjust the heat so it's just right. Doughnut dough is more dense than that used for traditional waffles. Set the waffle maker too high, and the outside will burn before the dough has a chance to set in the center. Too low and the wonut will dry out as it cooks. You have to find the sweet spot with each dough recipe.
At the Waffles Café, they use a slightly thicker waffle batter that is cooked in the waffle maker and then deep-fried. Because we used denser doughnut dough, we decided to skip the frying (and the added mess — this project is messy enough). Though for a little added flavor, I brushed the waffle makers with bacon grease before I made each batch. Just to help, you understand.
Of course, the most fun comes with the decorating, and we had a variety of glazes and toppings ready as the wonuts came off the waffle makers. We invited fellow wonut-fanatics to the kitchen to help us finish the project. Wonuts were dipped in glazes such as rich chocolate, maple brown butter, mixed berry and Meyer lemon. Toppings included traditional nuts and sprinkles as well as crumbled bacon, pretzels and cereal.
I'm already thinking about savory versions, topped perhaps with fried chicken and gravy. But we'll save that for another test.